Los Angeles police seek second suspect in sniper attack on officers

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2014 3:14 PM

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police in Los Angeles have detained one man as a possible suspect and are searching for a second on Monday in connection with an apparent sniper attack on two officers in their patrol car, police said.

The two officers were answering a radio call in south Los Angeles on Sunday night when they heard gunshots and saw muzzle flashes in their direction, prompting one of the officers to return fire, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.

No one was injured.

But the incident prompted the LAPD to issue a citywide tactical alert, allowing commanders to keep officers on duty beyond their shifts, and a perimeter was established around several city blocks as police swarmed the area to search for the perpetrators.

One man was taken into custody as a possible suspect, though he was not immediately charged, and a weapon was seized, while a second man sought in connection with the shooting remained at large, police said on Monday.

The tactical alert and search perimeter were lifted about seven hours after the shooting, once a sweep of the area was completed, LAPD spokeswoman officer Jane Kim said.

The apparent sniper attack came as law-enforcement officers around the country were on edge in the aftermath of a New York City ambush this month in which two policemen were shot to death as they sat in their squad car in Brooklyn.

Some police union officials there have accused New York Mayor Bill de Blasio of creating an atmosphere that encouraged attacks on police by publicly supporting recent protests against the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white officers in New York, Missouri and elsewhere.

In Los Angeles, an autopsy report was expected to be released this week on one such death in August: the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford, 25, described by relatives as mentally challenged but said by police to have grabbed for an officer's gun in a scuffle.

Thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in Los Angeles on Saturday calling for an end to police tactics that critics say have led to too many unarmed suspects being shot.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)